Kontiki Fishing: Catching a Feast the Kiwi Way

Studying Time: 8 minutes

Individuals have developed some fairly ingenious methods to catch fish through the years. From chunk alarms to robotic lures, new tech turns up daily within the angler’s toolkit. A few of it’s only for enjoyable, whereas most guarantees simpler angling and elevated catch charges. Kontiki fishing is a little bit of each.

Kontiki fishing has been widespread in New Zealand for years now and is slowly making its option to different international locations, too. Secure to say, this can be a fairly distinctive option to fish. How does it work? What are you able to catch? And importantly, is it a sustainable option to fish? These are the questions we’re answering at present.

What’s kontiki fishing?

Kontiki fishing is actually seaside longlining, utilizing a small raft or float to tug your hooks out to deeper water. Prior to now, individuals would use logs and even balloons – something that the wind would blow offshore. The issue with these primary setups is that you simply’re on the mercy of the wind. That’s the place expertise stepped in.

Lately, all method of high-tech ‘fishing torpedoes’ have been developed to get anglers’ hooks previous the surf. These motorised tubes are designed to run far offshore, stopping after a sure distance and even honing in on GPS coordinates. They’re basically ocean-going drones.

Because the kontiki speeds offshore, it pulls 20 or extra hooks all connected to particular person hint strains. These settle to the underside and (hopefully) hook some fish. After some time, you winch your line again in and head residence with a load of tasty fish.

What are you able to catch?

Kontikis are primarily designed for backside fish, however their a number of hooks can land you an enormous mixture of species. That’s to not say that you haven’t any management over what you catch, although. Tailoring your bait and depth provides you with a greater probability of a particular species.

So, what’s on the menu? On New Zealand’s North Island, the primary catches are Snapper and Gurnard, in addition to Kahawai, Trevally, Kingfish, Cod, and numerous Sharks. South Islanders often land a mixture of Greyboy (Tope), Rig (Clean-Hound), Cod, Elephant Fish, and the occasional Salmon.

Fishing outdoors New Zealand? You’ll be able to count on all kinds of various backside fish. Snappers, Groupers, Flatfish, Groundfish… If it lives on or close to the underside there’s probability of hooking it.

Kontiki Fishing Gear

Picture Supply: Seahorse Kontikis

Kontiki fishing entails extra gear than you could possibly slot in your common deal with field. In truth, you’ll be able to consider it extra as a substitute for a ship than a rod, with dozens of equipment and add-ons for various situations. To get began, listed below are the fundamental elements of a kontiki fishing system:

  • Torpedo: There are two kinds of fishing torpedo: handbook and self-steering. Guide ones want guiding via the surf with the road, whereas self-steer ones have a GPS or a compass inbuilt.
  • Winch: With hundreds of {dollars} of kit on the market, you desire a dependable winch to carry all of it again in. These are often electrical, however you should utilize a handbook winch in case your arms are as much as it.
  • Hint board: A metallic body that holds the baited hint strains in place throughout transport. The board additionally makes it simpler to rig the traces onto the primary line because the torpedo speeds offshore.
  • Bait: Nonetheless you fish, you want one thing to tempt the fish to chunk. Giant strips of mullet, kahawai, or squid work finest with kontikis as they keep on the hooks throughout their journey out.
  • Weights: If you wish to attain the underside, you’ll want so as to add weight within the type of clip-on sinkers. Connect them to the entrance of the primary line, and once more each few traces, relying on the present.
  • Transport: All of that package provides as much as various weight, so many anglers use quad bikes or four-wheelers to haul all of it onto the seaside. A easy trolley may even do the job on a finances, although.

Kontiki Fishing Fundamentals

Every make and mannequin of kontiki is a bit totally different, so be sure you learn up on how yours works. That being stated, the fundamental approach is all the time the identical. Listed here are the elemental rules of a profitable kontiki fishing set.

Scouting a Spot

Analysis the world you’re planning to fish earlier than you head out. Search for rips and offshore currents that would lead your kontiki off track, in addition to reefs and sandbars you would possibly run aground on. Tides are necessary, too. Launch on the improper time, and you could possibly be dragging your catch over plenty of sand – or worse, your winch is likely to be underwater!

Once you hit the seaside, the very first thing it’s best to do is scan the world for surfers, boats, and different kontikis. Preserve nicely away from all of those, as your torpedo received’t make a straight course offshore. When you’ve bought your binoculars out, search for winches and trolleys on the seaside. Kontikis might be laborious to identify after they’re a few kilometres offshore.

Setup and Launch

Picture supply: Seahorse Kontikis

In the event you haven’t carried out so already, bait your traces. Strip baits and lengthy cuts of squid are likely to work nicely. Hook every bit via as soon as to present it motion within the water, then safe the baited hint again within the board. It will make them simpler to connect as soon as your line is operating. Get your weights prepared in case you’re utilizing them, then it’s time to launch.

Launching works a bit in a different way based mostly on the make and mannequin you utilize. Self-steer kontikis are a ‘hearth and neglect’ type of deal so long as you set them correctly. Guide kontikis want a bit assist via the surf, although. Preserve rigidity on the road to ensure they’re operating true. If there’s a present, angle the rudder earlier than you launch to compensate.

As soon as the torpedo is operating, set some drag in your winch to cease it backlashing. This may even offer you extra time to connect the traces. Your line ought to have easily-visible stoppers to area out the traces and weights. Ensure you know what number of there are, then divide that by the variety of traces and weights you’re utilizing to maintain your baits unfold evenly.

Winching In, Packing Up

After sufficient time has handed, it’s time to reel in some dinner. An important factor to concentrate on is any snagged traces – or worse nonetheless, a snagged essential line. Pulling the road a technique then the opposite alongside the seaside ought to dislodge it. If not, you could have to get a boater or kayaker to seize your kontiki earlier than you strive extra forceful strategies of liberating it.

No snags? Implausible! Sluggish your winch when the primary traces present up on the sand, then cease it altogether as you take away every one. This stops them from getting tousled and hooked on one another – otherwise you. Unclip the hint, unhook the fish, and pack each away safely.

When all of your strains are unclipped and stowed, slowly winch your kontiki into shallow water, then paddle out and retrieve it. Clear up every little thing out of your set and wash down any blood on the sand with a bucket of water. No one likes stepping on fish guts throughout a romantic stroll on the seaside!

Kontiki Considerations

Is kontiki fishing secure?

Fishing with a few dozen hooks might be harmful in case you don’t do it proper. To keep away from any pointless drama, listed below are some golden guidelines for fishing safely:

  • At all times carry a knife. That is the primary rule of kontiki fishing. You’re sending plenty of very sharp hooks offshore, the very last thing you need is to be hauled out with them!
  • Time your launch. Look forward to a lull within the surf (the ‘seventh wave’ rule isn’t fool-proof, but it surely’s estimate) after which launch between waves in order that your kontiki is pulled out.
  • Put on a PFD. Or no less than, put on one in tough surf. You don’t have to have it on the entire set, however it may be a literal lifesaver when launching into tough west coast waves.
  • Mark your line. Set flags alongside your line out of your winch to the surf. Different beach-goers won’t see it in any other case. This may even hold your line secure from quads and 4WDs.
  • Don’t fish alone. This makes issues a lot simpler, and way more enjoyable as well. If no person else is free, allow them to know the place you’ll be fishing and whenever you’re planning to be residence.

Is kontiki fishing sustainable?

When individuals hear ‘seaside longlining’ all types of horrible photos in all probability come to thoughts. Tons of of fish dragged out of the ocean. By-catch littered everywhere in the seaside. The reality is far much less dramatic. In fact, it’s as much as us as anglers to fish responsibly, however a kontiki is actually a substitute for a ship, solely with a chargeable battery as a substitute of a giant diesel engine.

So, how can we hold our kontiki units sustainable? For starters, solely use as many strains as you need fish. Catch and launch isn’t actually an choice half the time, so in case you can’t take 25 fish, don’t set 25 traces. In the event you don’t desire a fish and it’s wholesome sufficient to launch, don’t wait. Launch it straight away a long way down the seaside.

Is kontiki fishing authorized?

That basically depends upon the place you reside. In New Zealand, it’s authorized to fish with as much as 25 hooks. In different international locations, it could be a lot much less. Some locations, similar to Queensland, ban fishing with distant or powered units utterly. It’s finest to verify with the native authorities earlier than investing in all of the gear. 

Wherever you’re fishing, all the time write your title and quantity in your torpedo and winch. This can be a authorized requirement in NZ, and it might additionally save the day in case your kontiki breaks off offshore. You also needs to register your buy with the producer, simply to be additional secure.

Lastly, keep in mind that common fishing limits nonetheless apply. Learn up in your limits and instantly launch the healthiest fish in case you exceed them. You’ll be able to all the time come again and catch them once more tomorrow.

Kontiki Fishing: Nice Enjoyable, Nice Outcomes

To recap, kontiki fishing is a enjoyable, stress-free option to fill your chilly bin (or ‘esky’ or ‘cooler’ relying the place you reside). You ship out your torpedo, hook in your traces, then winch in some dinner. Some individuals say that it takes the game out of fishing, however in case you simply wish to chill and catch fish, you’ll be able to’t beat it. In addition to, you’ll be able to all the time carry a surf rod to maintain you busy whilst you wait!

Have you ever ever tried kontiki fishing? What are the foundations in your space? Drop us your tales or ask a query within the feedback beneath – we’d love to listen to from you!